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Aziz D. Syriani is President & Chief Executive Officer, The Olayan Group, a diversified international enterprise engaged in trading, manufacturing, services and investments. Established in Saudi Arabia as a single company in 1947 by Suleiman Saleh Olayan, the Group today operates over forty businesses and financial enterprises. In terms of shareholders equity, it ranks among the world’s largest privately held companies.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1942, Aziz Syriani received his elementary and secondary education at the Jesuits School in Beirut. In 1964, he received a BBA from the American University of Beirut, followed by French and Lebanese law degrees in 1965 from the University of St. Joseph, an affiliate of the University of Lyon. Following five years of legal practice in Beirut, he obtained his LL.M degree from Harvard Law School in 1972. He then joined the law firm of Shearman and Sterling in New York. In 1974 he returned to Beirut to become a partner at the law firm of Fouad Boutros who was later named Minister of Foreign Affairs for Lebanon.
In 1973 his affiliation with The Olayan Group began as an outside counsel. From 1974 to late 1976 he served on the Board of American Express Middle East Development Company, the Lebanese subsidiary of American Express, resigning when he joined The Olayan Group on a full time basis.
Mr. Syriani was a member of the Occidental Petroleum Board (1983-2013) where he was also the Lead Independent Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and Executive Committee. He was also a member of the Board of The Credit Suisse Group and served as a member of its Chairman’s Committee (1998-2013). He was also Chairman of its Compensation Committee (2004-2013). He became President of The Olayan Group in 1978 and Chief Executive officer in 2002.Last Updated: Jan 6, 2017, 12:57pm